Outdoor Recreation Investments Set to Benefit 20 Communities, Create 175 Jobs

Photo Credit: Zuni Youth Enrichment Project via NMEDD

September 20th, 2022 – New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today the second round of Outdoor Recreation Trails+ Grant recipients for 2022. The Economic Development Department’s Outdoor Recreation Division is awarding 20 projects at a total of $2,015,565 throughout the state to expand outdoor access and grow the New Mexico outdoor recreation economy.

 

Of the 20 projects awarded for the second round of 2022, 65% are supporting rural or tribal communities and will create over 175 new jobs in New Mexico including at least 61 full time, 20 part time, 17 seasonal, 6 temporary or contract, and over 77 youth positions.

 

In 2019, the Outdoor Recreation Division was created when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham identified the outdoor recreation industry as a key target sector to diversify the New Mexico economy. The office has since invested over $11.74 million in funding outdoor access, including through the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant and Outdoor Equity Fund programs. The Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant was created in 2019 by Gov. Lujan Grisham and lawmakers to support projects that enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for communities, including parks, trails, wildlife viewing areas, and more.

 

“Outdoor recreation was identified early on by Gov. Lujan Grisham as one way to diversify New Mexico’s economy and to create jobs and more opportunities for rural communities,” Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “We now see that all parts of the state are benefitting from these initiatives with 65% of the projects announced today supporting rural or tribal communities.”

 

Overall, since the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant was created, a total of $5,339,990.17 has been awarded to 66 projects across the state. For 2022, Trails+ opened March 1 of this year on a rolling basis with $7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. This second round of awards, in addition to the first round announced in June, brings Trails+ to a total of 35 projects and $4,755,565 in funding for this year.

 

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